At his swearing in ceremony Wednesday at the Scott House, incoming Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha announced that he has selected Brianne Abbott as the city’s new safety and service director.
Harsha, who will officially take office on Jan. 2, is following in his father’s, the late Sandy Harsha, footsteps. Sandy Harsha served two terms as Hillsboro mayor from 1995 to 2003, after spending six years as a councilman at large and council president.
Justin Harsha said he has also served six years on council.
He will replace Drew Hastings, who decided not to run again after serving two four-year terms as mayor.
Justin Harsha was sworn in by William Harsha, a retired appellate judge and relative from Circleville.
“Over the last 30 years as a judge I have sworn in a lot of candidates, but never a relative, so this is a thrill for me,” William Harsha said.
Justin said his aunt, Susie Wagoner, suggested that William Harsha swear him in. “I couldn’t think of anybody that would be more fitting than to have him do it,” Justin Harsha said.
He also thanked the large crowd that was in attendance. Justin Harsha has said in the past that one of his goals is to keep the lines of communication open between the public and others.
Of his appointment of Abbott, he said, “We’ve been talking and doing a lot of planning, so she’s excited about it just like I am.”
Abbott is a 2006 graduate of Whiteoak High School. She obtained an associate’s degree from Southern State Community College, and worked for a total of about 12 years in the juvenile and probate divisions of the Highland County Court of Common Pleas, and the Highland County Engineer’s Office. She has spent the last four years helping run and grow her husband’s business, Chad Abbott Signs.
Abbott will also take office on Jan. 2.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity and excited to serve the city,” she said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.